Materials Science News

Rice Engineers Design Flexible and Stackable Laser Induced Graphene Supercapacitors

January 14, 2015

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Rice Scientists Show Vertical Microsupercapacitors with Laser induced Graphene

New research from Rice University details the design and testing of three-dimensional supercapacitors made with laser-induced graphene. Rice University scientists advanced their recent development of laser-induced graphene (LIG) by producing and testing stacked, three-dimensional supercapacitors, energy-storage devices that are important for portable, flexible electronics. The Rice lab of chemist James Tour discovered last year that […]

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New Insights Into Why Some Crystals Jump, While Others Crumble

January 13, 2015

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Why Some Crystals Jump and Others Crumble

A team of researchers has discovered the force that makes the organometallic compound palladium hexafluoroacetylacetonate jump. This thermosalient effect could potentially be applied in artificial muscles and actuators. Crystals are not as stationary as you might think. A crystal of an organometallic compound containing palladium, for example, downright jumps from a hotplate once it reaches […]

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Fine-Tuning the Chemistry of Materials

January 9, 2015

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Controlling Chemical Binding Properties Improves Structurally Complex Materials like Concrete

Using sophisticated calculations that show how atomic-level forces affect the mechanical properties of a complex particle-based material, researchers from Rice University reveal new ways to improve the chemistry of materials like concrete to make it less prone to cracking and more suitable for specific applications. Even when building big, every atom matters, according to new […]

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New Drug Delivery Technique Uses Graphene to Deliver Anticancer Drugs

January 6, 2015

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Flying Carpet Technique Uses Graphene to Deliver Anticancer Drugs

Using graphene strips to deliver anticancer drugs sequentially to cancer cells, researchers are able to target the distinct part of the cell where the drug will be most effective. An international team of researchers has developed a drug delivery technique that utilizes graphene strips as “flying carpets” to deliver two anticancer drugs sequentially to cancer […]

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New Non-Invasive MRI Technology Detects Alzheimer’s Disease Early

December 23, 2014

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New Non-Invasive Method Can Detect Alzheimer’s Disease Early

A newly published study details how a new MRI probe that pairs a magnetic nanostructure with an antibody can detect Alzheimer’s disease early. Evanston, Illinois — No methods currently exist for the early detection of Alzheimer’s disease, which affects one out of nine people over the age of 65. Now, an interdisciplinary team of Northwestern […]

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A New Understanding of How to Trap Light

December 22, 2014

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New Understanding of How to Halt Photons

A newly published study from MIT reveals the mechanism responsible for trapping the light, showing that this trapped state is much more stable than had been thought. Researchers at MIT who succeeded last year in creating a material that could trap light and stop it in its tracks have now developed a more fundamental understanding […]

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New Breakthrough May Lead to Instant-Start Computers

December 19, 2014

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Instant Start Computers Made Possible

Using a room-temperature magnetoelectric memory device, engineers at Cornell University have made a breakthrough that may lead to instant-start computers. Ithaca, New York – To encode data, today’s computer memory technology uses electric currents – a major limiting factor for reliability and shrinkability, and the source of significant power consumption. If data could instead be […]

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Engineers Show Tiny Liquid Drops Can Make Solids Stiffer

December 16, 2014

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Engineers Stiffen Solids with Liquid Inclusions

Engineers from Yale University have strengthened solid materials by using very small embedded liquid droplets. Engineers at Yale University have discovered that the stiffness of liquid drops embedded in solids has something in common with Goldilocks: While large drops of liquids are softer than the solid that surrounds them, extremely tiny drops of liquid can […]

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Valleytronics Help Researchers Move Toward a New Kind of 2D Microchip

December 15, 2014

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A New Kind of 2D Microchip

Using an approach called valleytronics, a team of researchers has cleared hurdles toward a new kind of 2D microchip that uses different electron properties. New findings from a team at MIT and other institutions could provide a pathway toward a kind of two-dimensional microchip that would make use of a characteristic of electrons other than […]

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Colloidal Quantum Dots Allow Solar Cells to Be Sprayed on Products

December 10, 2014

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Researchers Develop New Technique for Spraying Solar Cells

Using miniscule light-sensitive materials known as colloidal quantum dots, scientists from the University of Toronto have developed new technique for spraying solar cells onto products. Pretty soon, powering your tablet could be as simple as wrapping it in cling wrap. That’s Illan Kramer’s hope. Kramer and colleagues have just invented a new way to spray […]

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Microbullets Demonstrate Graphene’s Energy Absorbing Strength

December 1, 2014

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Microbullets Confirm the Strength of Graphene

A newly published study from Rice University shows that graphene is 10 times better than steel at absorbing the energy of a penetrating projectile. Graphene’s great strength appears to be determined by how well it stretches before it breaks, according to Rice University scientists who tested the material’s properties by peppering it with microbullets. The […]

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New 2D Materials Exhibit Exotic Quantum Properties

November 21, 2014

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2D Quantum Materials Exhibit Quantum Spin Hall Effect

A newly published study from MIT details a theoretical analysis showing that a family of two-dimensional materials exhibits exotic quantum properties that may enable a new type of nanoscale electronics. These materials are predicted to show a phenomenon called the quantum spin Hall (QSH) effect, and belong to a class of materials known as transition […]

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Engineers Use Voltage to Control Magnetic Memory

November 20, 2014

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Researchers Control a Material with Voltage

New research details how a MIT-based team has made important strides in the concept of using an electrical signal to control a magnetic memory. A new way of switching the magnetic properties of a material using just a small applied voltage, developed by researchers at MIT and collaborators elsewhere, could signal the beginning of a […]

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Scientists Synthesize an Entirely New Form of Silicon

November 17, 2014

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Scientists Synthesize a New Form of Silicon

Using a novel high-pressure precursor process, scientists from the Carnegie Institution for Science have synthesized an entirely new form of silicon. Washington, D.C. — Silicon is the second most-abundant element in the earth’s crust. When purified, it takes on a diamond structure, which is essential to modern electronic devices—carbon is to biology as silicon is […]

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Scientists Construct Microswimmers for Medical Applications

November 10, 2014

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Researchers Develop Nano Devices That Can be Propelled Through Media Similar to Bodily Fluids

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute have constructed swimming bodies that are small enough to be used in bodily fluids or even individual cells, and they are able to navigate through complex biological fluids. In the 1966 movie Fantastic Voyage, a submarine complete with crew is shrunk in size so that it can navigate through […]

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New Sodium-Conducting Material Significantly Outperforms All Others in Its Class

November 5, 2014

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New Sodium-Conducting Material Could Improve Rechargeable Batteries

Scientists have discovered a sodium-based complex metal hydride material that has the potential to be a much cheaper alternative to the lithium-based conductors used in many rechargeable batteries today. Rechargeable battery manufacturers may get a jolt from research performed at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and several other institutions, where a team […]

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Special Coating Prevents Batteries from Conducting Electricity after Being Swallowed

November 4, 2014

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Special Coating Makes Batteries Safer

A new special coating developed by a team of researchers prevents electrical current from damaging the digestive tract after accidental battery ingestion. Every year, nearly 4,000 children go to emergency rooms after swallowing button batteries — the flat, round batteries that power toys, hearing aids, calculators, and many other devices. Ingesting these batteries has severe […]

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